Milestones

August 24th, 2017
Milestones
Having a premature baby ensures a difficult and emotional time for families but Nairne local Amy Purling is attempting to turn the time into one to be remembered with her cards and keepsakes celebrating premature milestones.

Amy believes celebrating and documenting the unique journey of a premature baby from hospital to home is important in a time when parents are often overwhelmed and might struggle to remember all those special moments.

“Premature babies have different milestones than full-term babies – milestones that people usually take for granted,” she said.

“These milestones might include using a dummy for the first time, going off the ventilator or reaching one or two kilograms.”

Amy created her thriving business, Miracle Mumma, in December 2016, nine months after the 10 week premature birth of her son James.

“James spent the first five weeks in hospital on oxygen, getting blood transfusions and trying to fatten up,” Amy said.

“I bought general milestone cards but his milestones were different than normal – I realised there was nothing for premature babies, so Miracle Mumma really stems from him.

From the first cuddle, that moment the nurse placed James on my chest I knew I had to document it. The nurse took a photo of us and gave it to me along with a book to write in and celebrate every little milestone.

“I had nine months maternity leave after James was born, during which I taught myself how to design and contacted different suppliers to print the cards before I launched online.”

Even before Amy had officially launched the Miracle Mumma website she had plenty of orders.
“I posted a ‘coming soon’ picture on social media and people shared it and began contacting me within a week - word spread pretty quickly,” she said.

“There’s a big premature baby community online so people that have been through it before got it, they understand how special it is.”

The popularity of Miracle Mumma was particularly clear when a wholesaler in the United States came calling.

“It reached the US very quickly and I had websites like the Daily Mail, Mamamia and Babyology writing articles about it.”

For Amy however, Miracle Mumma isn’t about the business side or personal profit.

“I’m doing it for the love of it - I donate the profits to the hospital,” she said

“I care a lot about my customers.Together we’ve created a big support network for mums to keep in touch throughout their journeys.”

A fellow mother on one of the online support networks is Jemma Hunter.

“I had my daughter Saige at 24 weeks and on day 11 a friend tagged me in a post with Amy’s cards,” Jemma said.

“Amy messaged me right away to see if I was interested and I said ‘yes, of course!’”

“The cards have been so special to me because we went through so much stuff, I used pretty much all of the milestone cards.

“They really lightened everything and made me feel like I wasn’t alone anymore - it was something that helped me as I was going through all of those traumatic steps.”

Jemma and Amy formed a friendship through their shared experiences.

“I’ve never met anyone like Amy, she was such a great support through those 108 days and is like family to us now,” Jemma said.

“She always shares the stories of others on her social media pages and cares for everyone. She has such an amazing, big heart.”

Amy is passionate about using the Miracle Mumma platform to raise awareness about the challenges of premature birth.

“Most people have no idea what babies actually go through – reaching these milestones are often the only hope you’ve got to cling onto.

"The cards and keepsakes give parents something to celebrate at a difficult time, like stepping stones that break down a really scary process.”

Jemma agrees that knowledge of the challenges associated with premature babies is lacking.

“Premature birth isn’t something that’s spoken about and you can’t prepare for such a difficult time,” she said.

“Having the support from a community of premature babies’ mothers is so important.”

A keen charity worker, Amy will be raising funds for TeamKids – the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, with a high tea at Sunnybrae Estate on Sunday, November 5.

“We owe James’ life to the nurses and doctors at the hospital – they’re superheroes to me that perform miracles every day,” Amy said.

“The high tea fundraiser is all about giving back and saying thank you. I want to be able to support families going through the same thing we did.”

To buy Miracle Mumma products visit http://www.miraclemumma.com.au or to buy tickets to the High Tea visit http://www.teamkids.com.au/harcourtshightea

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